Ukrainian MP Serhiy Leshchenko claims that Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko deliberately lied to US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on the “state of cases that are connected to [former head of Trump’s election campaign Paul] Manafort, the United States,” and others.
Leshchenko, who was named by Giuliani as one of the people who made him cancel his Ukraine visit, told Hromadske that there was a conspiracy between Lutsenko and Poroshenko Bloc’s MP Boryslav Rozenblat in favor of the Republican party in the U.S., ahead of the 2020 presidential election, where Trump plans to run for the second term.
The Kyiv Administrative District Court upheld Rozenblat’s lawsuit against Leshchenko and head of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) Artem Sytnyk in December 2018. The lawsuit was originally filed in October 2017. Rozenblat claimed that in 2016 Sytnyk “leaked” some financial reports to Trump’s main rival in 2016 elections Hillary Clinton’s HQ, which related to Party of Regions’ fraud and cooperation with the then-head of Trump’s campaign Paul Manafort.
Originally Manafort was indicted by the United States grand jury in October 2017 on twelve criminal charges, including conspiracy, money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent. In March 2019 he received a total of 7.5 years under two sentences. The charges, to which Manafort pleaded not guilty, arose from Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
According to Leshchenko, Lutsenko told Giuliani that the Party of Regions’ “black ledger” is a falsified case, even though both NABU and Chief of the Special Investigations Department of the Prosecutor General's Office Serhiy Horbatiuk can testify that an examination proved all signatures found in the books were genuine. The investigation led to suspicion for Party of Regions’ MP Vitaliy Kaliuzhnyi, who kept the “black ledgers". The U.S. investigation also matched the records with Manafort’s clandestine accounts.
According to the New York Times, Giuliani planned to come to Kyiv to meet the president-elect Zelenskyy and convince him to “pursue inquiries that allies of the White House contend could yield new information about two matters of intense interest to Trump.”
Firstly, it is the origin of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation concerning Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Secondly, it is Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden’s involvement in Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
Burisma is owned by Ukrainian oligarch and former minister under Ukraine’s fugitive ex-president Viktor Yanukovych Mykola Zlochevskyi, and the firm is Ukraine’s largest private gas producer. Hunter Biden became director of Burisma Holdings in the spring of 2014, which according to experts created a conflict of interest for Joe Biden, Vice President at the time.
Former Vice President of the United States (2009-2017) Joe Biden is the current front-runner for presidential nomination from the Democratic Party for the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
However, during an interview to Fox News, Giuliani announced he would cancel his visit because “[he] thinks he would be walking into a group of people who are enemies of the president [Trump], and in some cases enemies of the U.S.”
Later, Zelenskyy’s HQ spokesman Dmytro Razumkov told ICTV channel that Zelenskyy only learned about Giuliani’s planned visit and subsequent cancelation from the media. He also stated that the current president-elect is ready to hold meetings with “anyone interested in further developing relations between the two countries, which does not end at political representatives.”